For any golf fans, images of tiger woods hitting a golf ball with a club that was taller than him have been burned into their collective memory. Most recently, Nike chose to remind fans that Rory Mcllroy experienced that same euphoric childhood connection with golf.
It’s the same way 16-year-old Fort St. John golfer Jake Lane got his start— with wooden clubs and a ball in his Grandma’s backyard.
“Started when I was seven years old, whacking [the ball] around the farm and stuff… some old clubs of grandma’s with the wooden shaft,” Lane said with a laugh.
The game had him hooked at age seven and lead to a tied second place finish at B.C. Bantams when he was 12. He translated that into his own personal low score of 66 at Lakepoint, his former hometown course in Charlie Lake.
Lane most recently competed at the 2015 CN Future Links Pacific Championship on his new home course in Qualicum Beach, B.C., a track that he has called home for the last six months after making the move south with his mother and sister.
“I play everyday, two three hours a day,” he said since the move south. “I’ve golfed this year all year around, even in December.”
Lane finished 14th in the tournament, shooting a 78-73-71 after his coach prompted him to enter the event. Lane said he would have liked to put a better performance forward but was satisfied with they way he played.
“I played— if I had to sum it up in one word I would say O.K.,” he explained.
“I was even par on the weekend, but [the] first round…over the whole week I took six penalty strokes, so that’s six shots right there, the game was good.”
Next up for Lane will be the B.C. Junior and Juvenile championships and he hopes those events will parlay into an appearance into the Canadian Championships.
“I need to get top 25 in the B.C. Junior which I’m perfectly capable of,” Lane said of what he needs to make the CJGA Mizuno National Junior Golf Championships in August.
The teen golfer has noticed a significant improvement in his game since the move down south, one that he contributes to both playing all year around and his new coach Robert Ratcliffe.
“I just started to work with a good coach, just this year so I’m really improving this year,” he said.
“He’s helped me a lot with the mental part of the game and how to handle yourself, along with swing techniques and stuff.”
In the end, Lane has a few years before he has to make any decision about his future in golf, but he still knows were he’d like to see it go.
“I’d like a scholarship in the next few years, I definitely like to make money at it. We’ll see how far it goes. As far as I can with it,” he said.